What is Alpenglow?

1 min read
What is Alpenglow? Blog Image


Astronaut Lora O'Hara, currently stationed aboard the International Space Station, recently shared images showcasing the Alpenglow phenomenon near the Hindu Kush mountain range.

About Alpenglow:

  • It is a natural phenomenon when mountain slopes are illuminated by the sunas it rises or sets.
  • The slopes turn a rosy, reddish, or orange hue depending on the angle of the sun and atmospheric conditions.
  • It occurs during the twilight hours before sunrise or after sunset. It can also occur in the first minutes after the sun rises or sets.
  • Alpenglow typically occurs in the range of colors between red, pink, and orange.

o This is because, these are the longest warm rays of electromagnetic wave (light) — they reach various surfaces, while cold rays are shorter and disappear faster in the atmosphere.

  • Its vibrancy and color dependon the location of the sun, the angle of the light, and other atmospheric conditions like clouds, humidity, and particulates.
  • It can change quickly depending on how fast the sun sets on any given day.

Key Facts about Hindu Kush Himalayan Region (HKH):

  • It stretches over 3500 kilometres across eight countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Myanmar and Pakistan.
  • It is the source of ten of Asia’s largest rivers – the Amu Darya, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy, Salween, Mekong, Yangtse (Jinsha), Yellow River, and Tarim (Dayan).

· It has the largest concentration of frozen water on Earth after the North Pole and South Pole; hence it is referred to as “the third pole”. 

Q1: What is the International Space Station (ISS)?

It is a habitable spacecraft that orbits Earth at an average altitude of approximately 420 kilometers (260 miles). It is a permanently crewed on-orbit laboratory that enables scientific research supporting innovation on Earth and future deep space exploration. From design to launch, 15 countries collaborated to assemble the world's only permanently crewed orbital facility, which can support up to seven astronauts and 300 to 400 experiments per crew increment, across an array of disciplines.

Source:MAGICAL: Astronaut Captures Stunning Alpenglow Phenomenon near Hindu Kush from ISS | See Pictures